When I was in college, a mentor gave me a book. It changed my life. The book, a Buddhist meditation on building a life of commitment, has never felt more pertinent.
Chop Wood, Carry Water is an exploration of the idea that the most divine moments of life come not in the glamorous and glorious – but in the mundane and routine. It is meditation on finding spiritual awakening through a commitment to the daily experiences of life . . . . chopping wood and carrying water.
Now, more than ever – the work of HBI is about tending to the small tasks. It’s about waiting in line at the bank – a seemingly never-ending line – to deposit money in the accounts of the families in the Ines Project so they can buy food for their children. It’s about calling organization after organization to see if we can get medications for children in the Ines Project with medically fragile conditions. It’s about writing protocols for the Casa Girasoles Programs that will keep the children safe and the staff well prepared. It’s connecting as a staff to celebrate our commitment to one another and our work.
When I think about why we exist as an organization – I think about the children and families in our programs. I think about how our work is building a model to shape a way forward for underserved communities. I think about little Marcos – who at 4 years old has finally found a home in our Casa Girasoles program, where he feels safe and loved. For him and for all the people who poverty and a lack of access to resources have made tremendously vulnerable in this pandemic . . . we won’t give up. We’re committed.
We’ll keep chopping wood and carrying water. We’ll keep building bridges.